Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
I started working on this step at a perfect time. My pink cloud was still at full force but forces beyond my control, from problems I created, were about to be unleashed on me.
Funny, about 4 weeks prior to getting sober I remember driving down the road thinking what an incredible life I had. An egomaniac with an inferiority complex. That summed it up pretty well.
That statement couldn’t have been further from the truth. My life at that point was in complete shambles and really no sign of changing. In fact, just the opposite. My life was going to go down hill very quickly from that point on.
So when I got the wake up calls from creditors, lawyers, division of family services and a host of others it brought me back to the chaos I had created. I had a mountain of problems with no solution.
Wayne, my sponsor said, pray.
And I did. These were not foxhole prayers asking God to get me out of this and I will do that. I was asking for forgiveness, asking for his will for me and direction.
Wayne asked, do you believe in God? Let’s start there.
Honestly, before getting sober I hadn’t put a lot of thought into it unless I was in trouble and asked for help.
I heard a friend answer the question by saying of course I believe in God, I certainly didn’t get sober on my own.
That worked. That really really worked! I can use that until something better comes along. Nothing has yet.
Only God knows how many times I said I wasn’t going to drink again, change my ways, cut down, only on weekends, etc. etc. There is no way I got sober on my own.
God did an intervention by placing circumstances and people in my life that lead me to treatment.
I had absolutely no hand in it what so ever.
So my higher power has a name and a familiar name, God, and he has filled that hole inside of me that has been there my entire life.
Some come into the Alcoholic Anonymous program with doubts of God’s Existence or prefer not to recognize that there is a God what so ever.
Fine, I say. Let the group be your higher power for now, it certainly has more power than you but please don’t use it as an excuse to not enter the program. That is just a cop out and a desire to continue using.
The second part of the step says return us to sanity.
My life was absolutely insane when I entered the program and was for the first few weeks after. Slowly and bit by bit it was coming around.
I was at 8 weeks now and my life beside for the wreckage from my past was going extremely well. My life was sane and it would be nice just to start here and move forward but that’s not real and as good addicts we created a tremendous amount of problems and chaos.
One by one I faced these problems head on. I learned a tremendous amount by doing this. First things were not as bad as they seemed, and they all had a solution.
To be honest some of my financial problems took years to correct but it wasn’t a race and they did get resolved. People wanted to work with me not throw away the key.
The relationship problems took time to rectify and honestly some are not resolved eighteen years later.
But what was important is that I learned that I didn’t have to drive the bus anymore I could put my faith and trust into the hands of someone much more powerful than I could ever be and it worked!
Not that it was easy because it wasn’t. I got through it and stayed for the most part on my pink cloud. God, I love it there.
Face the fear, walk through the fear. So many phrases and they are all true. All the little catch phrases rang true. One day at a time, easy does it, stay in the middle, don’t drive the bus and on and on.
So while the world was spinning around me and all the problems tried to break my outer shell I survived, in fact I thrived and became a much better person for it.
As they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s true!
It’s all words until you put it into action.
To Be Continued